Culture is the new currency when it comes to recruitment

8th July 2024

Posted on Categories LifestyleTags , , ,

Interviews and application processes are the shop window of your business and culture. When was the last time you stepped outside the shop front to take a look? Brendan Okoronkwo, Director at Boxless, gives advice and thoughts on how Business can improve and make sure they’re not falling out of touch.

The UK Recruitment sector reached £141.2 billion in 2022, often the first glimpse at company culture, values and purpose for employees. However it has the potential to be a multi-billion pound liability if organisations do not have values and culture to offer.

Recruitment when run well is a seamless, time saving, proactive success story that delivers talent and skills to teams to elevate them to the next level. For the candidate, a new position meeting their motivations and career goals is often wonderful branding as they no doubt share their early experiences far and wide.

Having worked with international tech businesses like BMW, Intel and Robert Bosch on Recruitment and Talent hiring strategies for over a decade, I can assure you this change is affecting every business.

Motivations are changing. The lure of a pay rise and a shiny new title are no longer the sole motivators of a candidate.

We’ve seen a glimpse of this shift, with work from home dominating workplace discussions following lockdown restrictions. Employees still capable of completing their duties away from the designated office converting commute time and office attendance into school runs, lunchtime gym sessions or side hobbies.

The change is going to become more prevalent, 4 day work weeks, maternity/paternity policies, DE&I initiatives, health benefits and paid charity days off are just some of the factors candidates are now honing in on with their job search decisions. Gone are the days of job title, salary and a ‘big’ name company being the de facto winner in talent attraction.

By 2026 75% of the global workforce will be made up of Millennials and Gen Z – What they want is very different to what has been on offer. A shift is happening.

Change is challenging

Change is uncomfortable, and we are in the midst of change with an incredibly fluid job market and increased 4.2% unemployment rate recently announced. The average tenure of an employee has dropped from over 5 years to just over 2 years. A saturation of degree educated professionals taking up non-degree required lines of work. Political factors, cost of living, redundancies and the sheer number of push and pull effects means that what once succeeded with scaling and hiring may not be the best plan of action for the next iteration of the workplace.

These are all hinting at culture, the new north star of the employee.

Culture is fundamentally important to get right, and there is a significant volume of data out there on the topic of ‘company culture’, and most of it has the same message; make sure your organisation has a strong teamwork ethic, create a positive working environment, offer your employees plenty of benefits etc.

But what a lot of organisations fail to acknowledge is that positive company culture is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Culture should absolutely fit everyone, include everyone and enable everyone to contribute.

3 things businesses can do for their culture to improve staff retention and new staff attention

  • Define your culture

What do you truly value in your business? How does that push the business forward and why would an individual want to be a part of this?

One flaw at this step is taking top management’s view only. Culture is in every inch of an organisation, bring forward ideas from all areas and capture as much sentiment as you can. You’ll be surprised how off the pulse management can be with the true heart beat of a company.

  • Delve into your culture

Any company can greenwash or rainbow wash their logo in accordance to awareness days/months, these are superficial acts if no work is being put in behind the scenes.

You’ve defined your culture, what proof do you have in your workforce of this? It’s an unfortunate truth that most companies do not have a myriad of age, gender, race and class of workforce. Promoting a meritocracy yet not having the internal evidence will immediately undo any positive verbalising of such a statement. Do the work and build your company from the inside out, then let the inside out for new future members to see.

  • Demonstrate your culture

Delivering your culture concisely, effectively and accurately in your branding, job opportunities and day to day engagements will be the key to success.

Internally owned communication channels are easy to manage, Marketing teams, HR, Senior management all have a part to play.

Ensuring that £141 billion worth of service stays on your side is a much trickier course to navigate, but can be done.

Firstly, they see your organisation as it is, show them what you want candidates to see, feel, hear.

Check them. Which provider are you trusting to be an extension of your organisation? What information are they sharing with the talent market on your behalf? How will they answer the more difficult questions that are bound to come up now you are more open and honest with your culture? You cannot make a first impression twice. Deliver your culture the best you can the first time.

Working on culture is a journey more companies need to take and some will soon have to take. A journey with a more effective, unified and inviting destination for all that enables businesses to continue to hire and retain the best talent possible.

This journey is one of the main challenges in today’s business climate. Through audit’s, assessments and research, businesses can find the tools to implement the right culture and continue to adapt to the changing landscape of employment.

To find out more visit or contact us for a free consultation